Cheremisinoff and Paul E. Hunt and George A. The site was recommended in , but t he EPA did not officially add it until PAGE 14 14 waste sites. CERCLA represented a modern attempt to resolve a longstanding problem the wide scale pollution generated by past and present industries. Colten and Peter N. PAGE 15 15 Once Oliver and other homeowners received official word that they had been limited response to their plight. In , without co nducting health surveys or even interviewing residents, the EPA pronounced the site safe for people to continue living there.
As many environmental just ice activists maintain, their goal is not 20 After an extended campaign, Oliver and her neighbors succeeded in convincing Congress to authorize a buyout and relocation for the C arver Terrace residents. In addition, the wood preservation industry and its history are often removed from conversations about Superfund sites such as Carver Terrace.
Focusing exclusively on the Superfund period obscures the industrial origins of former wood treatment facilities, pollution problems, and absolves the companies that o ver a century ago ushered in an era of industrial pollution. Louis Post Dispatch 20 October : 9. Thus, much like Patsy Ruth tmare 26 repercussions of this nightmare, but also the motivation behind the dream of wood preservation to exert control and dominance over wood and the for ests that yield this resource. This essential material is vital, strong, cheap, attractive, and, for most of human history, it has been relatively plentiful.
While wood is a prized commodity, it is also highly variable, prone to deterioration, difficult to replace once gone, and resistant to attempts at standardization. While humans e xperimented with a multitude of preservatives and techniques over millennia, they struggled to find an economical and effective treatment. This quest reached its apex during the early 19 th century, a period of rapid industrialization, chemical advancement, and gross overconsumption of wood.
Europe industrialized earlier than the United States and confronted these fears first; its researchers also pioneered the use of creosote as a wood preservative. Although this study traces these technological development s in Chapter 2, it focuses more on the reluctant adoption at 26 Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color ed. Americans had long sparked fears of a timber fami ne and prompted the simultaneous development of forestry and wood preservation.
This study explores the confluence of economy and ecology in British India, showing that Britain Railways and Deforestation in British India, – Download Citation on ResearchGate | Colonialism, development, and the environment: Railways and deforestation in British India, | This study .
Despite their early reticence to adopt creosote, the United States led by railroad magnates, foresters, chemical producers, and conservationists embraced this toxic treatment a s the answer to the dual problem of timber decay and depletion. Colten argues, industrial processes, former waste disposal methods, and even the location of industrial 29 While more contemporary wood preservatives such as pentachlorophenol and chromated copper arsenate CCA , which companies applied in the post World War II period, are often blamed for the pollution problems at these locations, the wood preservation industry relied on creosote more extensively and for a much longer period 28 29 Journal for the Society for Industrial A rcheology 14, no.
Colten, Professional Geographer 42, no. PAGE 19 19 of time. In addition, World scale generation of hazardous materia ls 33 Creosoting joined coal gasification, petroleum refining, metal finishing, leather tanning, and other early nineteenth and early twentieth w aste problems.
PAGE 20 20 light much earlier, as Chapter 5 reveals, than standard narratives about wood preservation sites acknowledge. M risks in the late eighteenth century, and many workers in the industry accused their employers of ignoring their health and safety and minimizing the dangers of exposure to this toxic treatment. Instead, researchers o ften profile specific communities, focusing exclusively on the period in which activism emerged.
Pinkley v. LEXIS , www. Striving for environmental equality requires that our society understand environmental inequali ties, and these inequalities have a history. Adopting this historical approach requires the consideration of not just residents living nearby former wood preservation sites, but also the workers who confronted prolonged, direct contact with creosote long before occupational health and safety legislation took effect. In the wood preservation industry, race and social class variables clearly shaped access to a livable environment.
Chapter 6 evaluates how African Americans bore a disproportionate share of the pollution associated with the wood preservation industry.
While labor and public health historians, industrial hygienists, and physicians specializing in occupational medicine have produced significant work on occupational disease, scholars documenting e nvironmental inequalities have less frequently integrated these findings into their studies. Companies, for ex ample, consigned African American laborers to the lowest paid, unskilled positions, ensuring they faced significant exposure to toxic 38 39 See, for example, Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, Chapel Hi ll: University of North Carolina Press, PAGE 22 22 chemicals.
Carver Terrace community action group and f riends marching for r elocation f rom their contaminated n eighborhood. Texarkana, Texas, Photograph by Sharon Stewart. Wood's status in our culture contributes at least in part to its invisibility. As historian Harvey Green explains, it has a material relied on for thousands of s, weapons, toys, storage, land and 9 In fact, wood has become so ubiquitous and 10 As Green alludes, our relationship with wood has historically been and remains a contentious one, especially since industrialization.
Rischen, Dr. Sijthoff, , v. Wood, inherently heterogeneous, variable, and non uniform, proved di fficult to convert to 11 Thus, the quest to find and develop an effective wood preserving process represented an effort to impose order and standardize what many viewed as an unstable and rebellious material. Although some scholars have re cently suggested we are experiencing a revival of interest in wood, it has of it once was.
Whereas previous generations prided themselves on building structures that would withstand the test of time, many people utilizing wood today do not expect, need, or want their materials to last for time immemorial. Much of the wood available to consumers today has already been treated with a chemical formula that promises to protect its structural integrity. Consequently, many people 11 12 13 PAGE 27 27 s eem to regard wood preservation as a foregone conclusion or innate characteristic of the lumber they purchase and encounter.
Our ancestors witnessed and experienced firsthand the expensive and potentially life threatening consequences t hat decaying and rotting timber posed. Before wood preservers harnessed creosote, for example, shipworms relentlessly chewed through some of the world s most elite and prized naval vessels, not to mention docks and wharves, causing these structures and sym bols of empire to sink, collapse, and crumble. Decaying railroad ties and bridge timbers significantly increased the risk of train derailments and dangerous accidents.
While mining remains a hazardous occupation, rotted timbers standing between a work crew and cave in made a mine even more deadly.
However, the increase of the area of forest plantations had not been a linear affair and there are suggestions that the total area had fallen in the decades after the s. About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles. We have discussed how new demands emerged and thereby increased the pressure on forests. Know more about our Products. The end of monoculture forestry In what Manner the Judiciary Forms were regulated from the Decretals.
Creosoted timber enabled countries such as Great Britain and the United States to build infrastructure and extend economic influence over India, Mexico, Cuba, and other areas, where they deemed both the native wood and the people who lived there as inferior. By preventing timber from and preventing marine increasing the life of timber and saving money. This perspective is apparent in a decennial report on forest products research. While the forest 17 18 Engineering Digest 4 Dec.
William Chapman, a British civil engineer and author of an study on wood preservation, pronounced the research in this field to be to navigate. Investigating creosote s predecessors illustrates that t he wood preservation industry s reliance on toxic treatments is much older than its use of creosote.
While creosote s appeal has endured for nearly two centuries, wood preservers first proposed and experimented with countless other chemical concoctions in their quest to stave off decay. These many attempts to locate an effective preservative produced a literature on the history of wood preserving that is as one expert 21 22 PAGE 30 30 characterized it in 23 A compilation of past techniques published in listed 47 unique preparations employed since The Roman writers on 23 24 25 26 27 PAGE 31 31 architecture, such as Cato, Pliny, Vitruvius and Palladius, give us full particulars of the processes applied and substances used.
Some wood impreg nated the wood with the preservative while it was under pressure. Congress established the Forest Products Laboratory in at the University of Wisconsin Madison, there was no real testing center anywhere to investigate and verify the e xtravagant claims that many individuals and wood treatment companies made. For several years in the early s, representatives from the Finch Wood Preservativ e Company wrote B. Fernow, chief of the U. Many preservatives sounded promising in theory but could not actually be proven effective unless users waited years to field test the treated wood and exposed the material to the harshest possible conditions.
There was also a great degree of variation depending on the product s intended use; as many wood preservers concluded, for example, a preservative that seemed effective in one region with a dry, arid climate might not be successful in a humid, wet environment. A sense of urgency to resolve the problem of wood preservation prompted many producers and consumers of treated wood to embrace preservatives that, while advantageous for halting decay and deterring pests, remained too expensive, impractical, and dangerous to use.
Wi lliam Goltra reinforced these challenges in a American Wood Preservers Association presentation on the history of preservatives 33 34 PAGE 33 33 effective, provided they could be carefully an d economically applied, but most of them have not survived, either through cost of material, difficulties in their operation or their 35 A few memorable treatments from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries that did not survive the test of time included coating and rubbing and submerging wood 36 Even without reliable data on whether these formulations adequately treated wood, these brief descriptions offer insight into why these methods did not succeed; i t was time consuming to apply these preparations and they contained many different ingredients that might have been expensive or hard to obtain.
Wood preservers also learned that some of their experiments could be deadly.
In his history of wood pres erving, Goltra addressed the havoc that one proposed wood treatment wrought in Woolwich, England: In Mr. Lukin undertook to treat wood by burying i t in pulverized charcoal in a heated oven. He erected a large kiln in Woolwich Dockyard but an explosi on took place on the first trial before the process was completed, which proved fatal to eight of the workmen and wounded twelve.
The explosion was like th e shock of an earthquake. The experiment was not repeated. In , Alexander Emerton se cured one of the earliest boards with boyling oyls sic which are prepared and mixed to a glutinous consistency for that purpose; then by a covering at severall sic ti mes of compounded poisons, 39 Just as Emerton s patent emphasized toxicity as an essential element to an effective treatment.
As Goltra co ncluded in his investigation of the history of wood has been the same, namely, the injection into the vessels of the wood of some material which. Petersburg, Russia, and the Society for the Encouragement of Arts of London, offered prizes to individuals who developed successful treatments. Indiv iduals holding patents on wood preserving treatments might also receive royalties from businesses employing their unique processes.
The potential notoriety and profits attracted numerous people with good intentions to the industry, but it also drew individ uals and companies driven by a more wood preserving industry, some of them that do good work and a lot of them that mean 41 Forest Products Laboratory, Testing Wood Preservatives Madison, Wisconsin: Uni ted States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Dec.